Posted by Ghada Qaiser On July - 13 - 20126 COMMENTS
As we saw in Episode 2, there wasn't much of Sami in it. But this episode was mainly about Sami and his efforts to find a good job. He goes around for interviews and meets up with Tracy and an old rival. All of them pretty much have interviews at the same place and each one of them seems to return disappointed. Asha missed her Psychology exam because of Daadi. We also see how Sami is now feeling frustrated for not being able to get a job.
I felt really sad for Sami. It was normal for him to get depressed and frustrated after trying so hard. And he kept wondering about why he's not getting a job. He said that just because he is 'brown', everyone expects him to be good at computers. It forces him to think that no one is hiring him because he is 'brown'. Asha helps Sami look at things in a different way and comforts him. I really loved that part. I was, from the beginning looking forward to chemistry between all the people living in Sami's house. I really want them to become great friends.
I loved the part where Rakay explained what Daadi and her friend were talking about. I think his predictions were pretty accurate lol. Wow! He has 5 khalas! That's a lot. I loved his dialogue "Ab tumhe pata hai na ke main yahan kyun escape ker kay aaya hoon"
I liked Tracy's part so far and I hope to see more of her as well. I was also hoping for Mark to show up. I am sure we'll get to see more of them :)
I really liked today's episode. It didn't have much comedy or anything but we got to see a more emotional side of the problems students face in North America. The actors are really great, I really like Adeel's performance in this episode. He is actually doing a great job. I think I love everything about Mangoes; the direction, the story, the actors, everything! All the actors have really good Chemistry. I will be looking forward to more :)
I still remember that day in grade 11 when he walked into our classroom. He was tall, his head held up high with a gawky smile plastered on his face that he gave to everyone and took a seat closest to mine. A pin drop silent greeted him in return. He was wearing a black leather jacket over a plain white t shirt, his hair gelled in the least delightful manner and most prominent of all were the jeans. The tightest pair of jeans we had ever seen on a guy. Someone whispered in the back, “Uh Oh, tight pants has arrived, ladies and gentlemen another ship of FOBs must have landed…” and hence it began. He was named tightpants. He was the newest FOB in our classroom. To this day I still don’t remember what his real name was, but he was just tightpants. His Fobby clothes, manners, the tarka smell were constant butt of jokes for the rest of the classroom and all of a sudden he disappeared just as he had appeared.
FOB (a acronym for Fresh Off the Boat or Freshy a “delightful” term put together for newly arrived immigrants. But what is the connection between FOB and mangoes? Today’s episode of Mangoes was titled “The FOB,” which mainly revolved around Rakay and his constant humorous attempts to become the knight in shining armor to the beautiful Kiran (his old next door neighborhood). What followed were some hilariously put together scenes of poor Rakay’s attempt to understand the term FOB and his numerous attempts to de-FOB himself. On the other hand we see Asha getting some unfriendly attention from their caucasian neighbor Mark. Sami just dwelled as a background character for majority of the episode today, but he has more surprises in store for us from the looks of the preview for episode three.
Rakay Rakay Rakay…the poor guy took fobiness to a whole new level. Truly Khurram Suhrwardy’s portrayal of a burger bacha shipped straight to a foreign country is spot on. His expressions, his body language and dialogue delivery has taken me by surprise. His clumsy attempts, his fantasies, his conversion of dollars to rupees are some of the saving grace of the show. Take a bow Khurram. Coming towards Asha and Mark, they are another surprisingly odd couple and their interactions were also hilarious giving much insight into their characters. Asha is a highlight of a very dimensionally etched out character and she is revealed to us in different layers. Today we saw her as someone who has built walls around themselves, as she wards a bit too friendly attempts by Mark by being strident and assertive to his approach. Turning to Kiran, she is revealed to us as a typical, cliché manipulative immature girl and hopefully she will be also revealed in different light. My only problem with Kiran is that Anokhi Dalvi tends to look a little uncomfortable in some scenes for example the ipod grabbing scene was the most prominent one. She seemed a bit too rushed or her expression of surprise and happiness seemed a bit forced. So far she seems to be the weakest link in the show…but who knows she might surprise us all in the upcoming episodes.
Although most of the situations portrayed today fell almost at borderline cliché, what truly saved them were dialogues and some hilarious punch lines. I am going to share just a few of my favorites:
Mark: “don’t worry I will grab my things and I will be out of your hair”
*sees hair removal cream and picks it up*
“This is certainly not mine”
Rakay thinking: “..out comes the dairy, twelve year old flashback, ankhoon say ansoo, BAM knight in shining armor and we live happily ever after..Rakhay tumhain to bed time story writer hona chahiye tha..”
Girl1: so you are a proud FOB
Rakay: yeah I am pretty proud
Girl2: lagta hai ap nay khaas training li hai FOB honay main
*rakhay thinking* …to FOB koi degree ya certificate hai
Rakhay: I am a qualified FOB with honors
Girl2: lagta hai app nay masters kiya hai is main
Rakhay: nahi siraf specialization
Overall I am really enjoying the pace of the narrative so far and I am really glad that its more of a character driven story rather than narrative driven. Lets see what dadi and some new characters have in store for us next week and I wish we had seen more of Sami! What I absolutely love about this show is that it’s such a breath of fresh air and all minor glitches aside, I am still hooked. Thumbs up guys!
Until next time I am going to go and spend some quality time with my friends at Gulberg eating their fine shwarmas and grabbing some sabzi for mom from sabzi mandi…
P.S. I walked in for a job interview a few days ago and there was a panel of interviewers from the firm. One interviewer looked very familiar, it looked like I had seen him somewhere before… as I made myself comfortable and sat across from the very familiar employee who had a nice Pakistani-Canadian mix accent, I recognized tight pants, and I was sad to see he was not a FOB anymore...and i was now at his mercy! *gulp*
Have you ever heard any of the following snippets of conversation around you or have been part of these conversations?
You still don’t have a job? I say you start applying outside of the city if there are no jobs being offered in your field?
Achaa app india say hainnnn? Ugh it was -27 degrees yesterday, yet we still had to go work, I am sick of living in this tundra!
Did you know dad hired a Pakistani international student that just landed a few days ago, he will probably have to hire someone else to make sure he works!
What? Gurpreet’s family got sued because the goray living across from them figured out that they were renting out their basements again?
I am looking for two FE-male roommates because… 500 dollar rent? But I am a struggling international student and still have to receive my work permit…
Tumharay baap din raat taxi chala kar is ghar ka kharcha nikalta hai, kuch karlo apni zinagi ka…
If you have been part of these conversations or have lived them or heard of them, you probably have lived or live outside of Pakistan and have probably come across at least one of the above snippets. Sadly our media has always failed to portray the less glamorous side of struggling Pakistanis whether they are students, immigrants or families. Mangoes, a new serial directed, written and produced by Suhrwardy Brothers, set in Toronto, Canada has just currently broadcasted its first episode on youtube and well its different!
The episode began with a brief introduction to Canada and some of the struggles it faces as a country both at social and economical levels, especially in terms of jobs for international students. The prologue of introduction to the country was short visual treat and we are introduced to Sami (Adeel Suhrwardy) a struggling Pakistani student who has still to land a job and carve out a career in a competitive work field. His Uncle Rehan who lives in Pakistan has generously provided him with his house, while he maintains his business in Pakistan. Uncle Rehan warns Sami to steer clear off from RENTING the house and what does Sami do? He goes exactly against his wishes and posts flyers in Desi fashion at local desi stores to rent rooms so he can earn extra money on the side. We are then introduced to another international student from India Asha (Maha Warsi or Liz from Bilqees Kaur) who is a headstrong young woman, earning her degree in psychology looking for a cheap option to rent. She also feels less then easy about telling her mother on skype that her soon to be two roommates aren’t exactly females. Last but not least, Rakay (Khurram Suhrwardy), the newly arrived “FOB: Fresh off the boat” adorning his Team Pakistan Shirt, along with boxes of National Masalas and “Ghar Ka Khana”, “Daal” while sustaining his struggles to flag down the bus, to talk to a girl who is from other side of the border are brilliantly portrayed. And then there is Daddi who has been asked by Rehan Uncle to keep a eye on Sami’s activities. It remains to be seen how much Daddi really knows what Sami has been upto!
So why just in first episode has become an A+ in my books? Here are my reasons why:
-The characters within the first episode are very well etched out and they personify majority of struggling South Asian students living in North America. As I was watching them unfold on screen, I could not help but relate to Samis struggle to find a career fulfilling job, Asha’s hesitancy and guilt in not being able to convey that she is indeed going to be living with two men to her parents or Rakay’s struggles to grasp crucial culturally sensitive conversations that he is still not aware of (no dude, there is no maid here, you have to do all the work and doest means if Asha is a girl she will automatically be responsible for all house chores). Kudos to the writers for making dynamic protagonists out of usual archetypical characters that grace our screens!
-The wonderful acting and expressions, the looks are priceless. All the actors are acting wonderfully so far. Excellent job guys!
-The music, the camera angle, the cinematography is top notch and adds brilliantly to the narrative. Also the changing voices, the alteration between first person & third person voice is a wonderful addition which gives us audience even more insight into the characters world and thoughts.
Finally, bringing an old age story of struggling Pakistani’s living aboard but giving it new shine by actually portraying a more realistic picture of life abroad, the drama has clicked with audience has evident by its YouTube ratings. In next episode, we are going to be introduced to even new characters and I am eagerly looking forward to see how the three opposing personalities maintain order in their new house.